Cowgirls Unanimous Favorites to Win 2018 Southland Softball Season

first_imgCoaches and SIDs Poll (first place votes) For the first time in 30 years, eight teams will compete at the Southland Conference Softball Tournament. McNeese will host the 2018 tournament May 8-11 at Cowgirl Diamond. T2. Nicholls 205 T8. Stephen F. Austin 105 FRISCO, Texas – McNeese is the unanimous favorite to win the 2018 Southland Conference softball regular season, according to the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. The conference announced the preseason poll Wednesday. The Cowgirls swept all possible first-place votes for the second consecutive season. The preseason poll is voted on by head coaches and SIDs from each Southland softball school. Voting for one’s own team is not permitted.After winning back-to-back Southland regular season and tournament championships in 2016 and 2017, McNeese vies to become the first three-peat Southland tournament champion in history and the first back-to-back-to-back regular season champion since Texas State accomplished the feat in 2008-10. The Cowgirls return three-time Southland Player of the Year Erika Piancastelli and six additional starters from a season ago. McNeese, along with Abilene Christian and Nicholls, placed five players on the preseason all-conference teams.The Wildcats and Colonels tied for second in the poll with 205 points. ACU garnered two first-place votes coming off a 2017 season where the Wildcats recorded a 20-7 Southland record and would have been the No. 2 seed in the Southland Conference Softball Tournament but were in their final year of transition to Division I. This is the Wildcats first season eligible for Southland and NCAA postseason tournaments. Nicholls made it to the Southland tournament championship in 2017 after finishing the league season 19-8 to claim the second seed.Lamar, who lost in a controversial ending at the National Invitational Softball Championship last season, is tabbed to place fourth, just 15 points outside of ACU and Nicholls.Central Arkansas, Northwestern State and Sam Houston State are predicted to finish fifth through seventh, respectively.Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin each received 105 points to split the eighth spot in the poll. Houston Baptist is picked to take 10th, UIW is predicted to finish 11th and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi rounds out the 12-team league.The 2018 season begins with McNeese taking the field with a doubleheader against Virginia on Feb. 8 in Lake Charles, La. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. CT. Sam Houston starts its season at 6 p.m. against Texas State in San Marcos, Texas. The remaining 10 league teams get their seasons going on Feb. 9. 6. Northwestern State 134 4. Lamar 190 5. Central Arkansas 145 T2. Abilene Christian (2) 205 7. Sam Houston State 126 T8. Southeastern Louisiana 105 1. McNeese (22) 242 12. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 34 11. UIW 42 10. Houston Baptist 51last_img read more

Marco Born Named Lamar Athletics Director

first_imgBEAUMONT, Texas – Marco Born has been named Lamar University Director of Athletics announced President Dr. Kenneth R. Evans Thursday morning. Born will take over for Norman Bellard who has been serving on an interim basis since November.”Mr. Born brings the student-athlete perspective and excellent administrator experience to his new role as athletics director at Lamar University,” said Dr. Evans. “His vision for the complementary relationship between athletics and academics is particularly impressive. Mr. Born has a passion for the role athletics can and should play in enhancing the overall university for students, staff and/or faculty as well as the community at large. I look forward to working with him as we build upon the rich tradition of Lamar University and its athletic programs.””In addition, I would also like to thank Norman Bellard for his hard work as the interim during the transition. I am extremely grateful for everything he has done for the athletics department these past few months,” added Dr. Evans.Born comes to Beaumont after spending the previous four years at Louisiana Tech. He was named the senior associate athletics director for external affairs in August 2014 before being promoted to executive associate athletics director in July 2017. During his time in Ruston, Born oversaw the fundraising, marketing and promotions, ticket sales, multi-media rights, licensing and merchandising for Bulldog and Lady Techster athletics.Born left a paper trail of success in Ruston as overall revenue for the department increased by 148 percent in fiscal year 2017, and overall fundraising revenue increased by 252 percent during that time.Born also spearheaded a fundraising campaign that led to significant upgrades and renovations to the athletic facilities. Louisiana Tech opened the Davison Athletics Complex in September 2015, a 70,000-plus squad foot, $22-million facility located in the south end zone of Joe Aillet Stadium. The facility was referred to as a “game-changer” for Louisiana Tech University and its athletics department. Just a year after opening the complex, Louisiana Tech unveiled the plans for $18.6 million press box renovations and guest suite facility at Joe Aillet Stadium. In October 2015, Louisiana Tech also announced upgrades to their baseball and softball facilities, which included the installation of new playing surfaces at both venues.”My family and I are very excited to be joining the Lamar University family,” said Born. “(Louisiana Tech Athletics Director) Tommy McClelland spoke very highly of Lamar from his time in the Southland Conference. Lamar University has experienced a great deal of success in the past, and continues to be successful. The more research I did the more excited I became about this opportunity. I believe Lamar University has great potential.”A former standout tennis athlete at Middle Tennessee State, Born spent seven years at his alma mater serving in several different capacities. He joined MTSU athletics full time in June 2007 as a group sales and marketing representative before taking over as director of ticketing two years later. He was named assistant athletics director for ticketing and marketing in July 2011, and was promoted to associate athletics director in July 2013. During the 2013-14 season, MTSU increased overall ticket sales by 25 percent, and the women’s basketball program broke a school record for attendance by averaging nearly 5,000 fans per game – a number which ranked among the nation’s top 20.Behind Born’s leadership, MTSU also saw significant improvements to its athletics facilities. Those projects included $1.4 million for new football playing surface, $11 million basketball arena renovation and new softball hitting facility. Prior to joining the athletics staff, Born originally made a name for himself as a standout athlete with the Blue Raiders. During his career, Born won a NCAA Doubles Championship and received All-American honors for his work on the court. He is also a member of the MTSU Athletics Hall of Fame.last_img read more

Ladyjacks Close Out Second-Straight 30-Win Campaign at NISC Nacogdoches Regional

first_imgCrawford finished the evening 2-for-3 with a run, while Novegil was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Junior right-handed starter Jordan Llinas went six full innings and struck out six with just four hits and two earned runs allowed. Freshman right-hander Kassidy Wilbur tossed the final inning in relief, needing to face only four batters. An SFA error in the fourth inning and a pair of runs on a double in the sixth gave McNeese a 3-0 lead that would hold, despite the Ladyjacks scoring in the bottom of the sixth. “Once again we had a terrific outing in the circle, this time from Jordan Llinas,” head coach Nicole Dickson said following the game. “We didn’t finish how we wanted but you can’t take anything away from these ladies and this program. Our team with our culture here at SFA is building something special.” Story by Luke Bolanos / SFA Sports InformationNACOGDOCHES, Texas – The SFA softball program’s 2019 journey came to an end Friday evening at SFA Softball Field in Nacogdoches but not before the Ladyjacks matched their most wins in a single season since 1991 and captured their first national postseason tournament victory in the school’s NCAA Division I era. Hosting its first national regional since becoming a Division I program, SFA out-hit McNeese in the 2019 Postseason National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC) back draw final and got another 2-for-3 performance from redshirt sophomore outfielder Brittany Crawford. However, the visiting Cowgirls (32-31) scored a trio of runs and held the host Ladyjacks (36-23) to just one in a 3-1 affair to advance to the NISC Nacogdoches Regional championship Saturday. For their stellar performances at the Postseason NISC Nacogdoches Regional, Corona, junior shortstop Lindsay Gregory and junior pitcher Ashley Kriesel were named to the regional’s all-tournament team. The Ladyjacks would get two on with just one out in the bottom of the fifth but couldn’t bring anybody across the dish as McNeese used a two-hit, two-run sixth to build a three-run advantage. A leadoff walk in the top of the sixth was followed by a Cowgirl sacrifice bunt and a fielder’s choice, before catcher Demi Boudreaux singled and first baseman Alexandria Saldivar connected on a two RBI double to left field. SFA made it a two-run contest at 3-1 in the bottom of the frame after right fielder Crawford hit a one-out single to the pitcher and advanced to second on a McNeese error. Crawford would advance to third on a wild pitch, allowing sophomore second baseman Bryana Novegil to take a 1-0 pitch to left center field for a two-out RBI double.center_img Saldivar turned in a 1-for-3, two RBI performance as Turbeville was 1-for-2 with a walk. Righty Caroline Settle (9-9) picked up the complete game win inside the circle after striking out one and allowing just one walk and an earned run. Much like the Ladyjacks’ earlier game against Middle Tennessee there was just one combined hit through the opening two innings and no runs were scored through the first three frames, before the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. A one-out single up the middle from Cowgirl right fielder Kaylee Lopez led to a single through the right side by designated player Aubree Turbeville. Center fielder Toni Perrin then flied out to right field and an SFA error allowed pinch runner Taylor Edwards to score from second base for the first run of the evening. “Thank you to our seniors for leaving it better than when you found it, you have a lot of accomplishments to be proud of,” added coach Dickson. “I am excited about our youth, excited about our future. These young players gained valuable postseason experience and are hopefully hungry to come back next year and fight for a conference championship and an NCAA Tournament birth. Thank you to my staff and everyone who helped run a great event at our home venue. This program is special and great things are coming.” Senior first baseman Margarita Corona ended her historic Ladyjack career with a two-out double to left center field in the bottom of the seventh, but it would be all the offense for SFA in the frame.last_img read more

SANTA ANITA GUARANTEES $2 MILLION IN SUNDAY’S SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT; SPECIAL EARLY FIRST POST FOR 10-RACE CARD IS AT 12 P.M.

first_imgSANTA ANITA GUARANTEES $2 MILLION IN SUNDAY’S SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT; SPECIAL EARLY FIRST POST FOR 10-RACE CARD IS AT 12 P.M.$354,642 IN ‘NEW’ MONEY HELPS CREATE SATURDAY LIVE MONEY POOL OF $1.6 MILLION; 36 CONSOLATION TICKETS TODAY EACH WORTH $5,226 ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 26, 2019)–With $354,642 in “new” money wagered into Saturday’s 20 cent Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot contributing to a massive live money pool of $1,640,048, there was  again no single ticket winner, but a total of 36 consolation tickets were each worth $5,226.And, with a mandatory payout looming next Saturday, Feb. 2, Santa Anita will again guarantee $2 million in Sunday’s Rainbow Six Jackpot, which will commence with race five on a 10-race program.  Special early first post time for Sunday’s program is at 12 noon and admission gates will open at 10 a.m.Average field size in Sunday’s Rainbow Six stands at nine horses per race.  The featured $70,000 Clockers’ Corner Stakes, for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, has been slotted as race eight and Peter Miller’s Conquest Tsunami, who will be ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.        Approximate post time for Sunday’s fifth race is at 2:03 p.m. PT.For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

IRISH-BRED LADY PRANCEALOT RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE III, $150,000 HONEYMOON STAKES UNDER TALAMO

first_imgIRISH-BRED LADY PRANCEALOT RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE III, $150,000 HONEYMOON STAKES UNDER TALAMO; TRAINED BY BALTAS, SHE GETS 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF IN 1:49.08ARCADIA, Calif. (June 1, 2019)–Next to last with a quarter mile to run, Irish-bred Lady Prancealot rallied boldy turning for home and unfurled a powerful stretch run en route to a three quarter length win in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita.  Ridden by Joe Talamo and trained by Richard Baltas, Lady Prancealot got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:49.08.“I waited a little longer today,” said Talamo, in reference to a second place finish in the one mile turf, Grade III Senorita Stakes here on May 4. “Last time, I probably moved a touch early. Today, I waited and sure enough, turning for home she switched leads and really cut. She’s very handy, very relaxed and she has that turf turn of foot…She might be best at a mile and a quarter.”Off as the 3-1 third choice in a field of seven sophomore fillies, Lady Prancealot paid $8.40, $4.00 and $3.00.“The more ground, the better for this filly, she tries so hard and she’s so exciting,” said co-owner Jerry McClanahan. “Every time we run her, she shows them what she’s made of. I didn’t know if they were going fast enough, but as she made her move, they started to come back a little more and we felt good about it…We were definitely worried about the pace, they were slowing it down pretty good, but she tries so hard. If you have a horse like this that tries as hard as she does, you always have a shot.”Twice graded stakes placed, Lady Prancealot notched her first stakes win today in her eighth stateside start, improving her overall mark to 13-3-4-2. With the winner’s share of $90,000, she increased her earnings to $219,341.Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, English-bred Hostess, who was the second choice at 5-2, finished 1 ½ lengths clear of Over Emphasize and paid $3.80 and $3.20.Off at 9-1 with Alonso Quinonez, Over Emphasize paid $4.80 to show.Maxim Rate, who came off victory in the Grade II Senorita Stakes, was the 2-1 favorite with Kent Desormeaux, but checked in a non-threatening fifth with no apparent excuses.Fractions on the race were 23.69, 48.79, 1:13.53 and 1:37.53.last_img read more

Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool or City may land Group of Death in Champions League

first_imgTOTTENHAM are the most likely English team to find themselves in the Group of Death at this season’s Champions League.The draw – which also includes Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City – takes place next Thursday in Monaco.44 Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side could be drawn in a Group of Death in the Champions LeagueCredit: AFP or licensorsHowever, despite finishing as runners-up last season, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are not placed in pot one, leaving them at greater risk of a nightmare draw.All the other English teams are in pot one.Teams from the same country cannot play each other.So from pot one, Spurs could face Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, PSG or Zenit St Petersburg.Coming up against Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Co would be the toughest task there.But it doesn’t get much easier.In pot three they could draw Inter Milan – boosted by the arrival of new manager Antonio Conte ex-Man Utd striker Romelu Lukaku – and RB Leipzig from pot four.That is a brutal list of fixtures to get through just to make it through to the knockout rounds.Although it is unconfirmed, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Ajax and Benfica are all set to join Spurs in pot two.4Latest football newsSILVA’S GOLDEN GIRLModel Ines Tomaz has been helping Bernardo Silva through quarantineGossipCROWD RETURNFA Cup final ‘may see 20,000 at Wembley in trial allowing some fans at games’CommentPHIL THOMASDiving and whining was never a good look and will seem worse after lockdownExclusive’I’M IN A BAD WAY’Ex-England star Kenny Sansom talks for first time since being attackedExclusiveBOURNE AGAINHowe says Cherries are stronger after lockdown with FIVE fit-again starsExclusiveSWAN THAT GOT AWAYSwansea wanted £3m Davies three years ago but couldn’t get work permit December 2019Group stage, matchday six – December 10/11Round of 16 draw, Nyon – December 16February 2020Round of 16, first leg – February 18/19 and 25/26March 2020Round of 16, second leg – March 10/11 and 17/18Quarter final and semi-final draw, Nyon – March 20April 2020Quarter finals, first leg – April 7/8Quarter finals, second leg – April 14/15Semi finals, first leg – April 28/29most read in sportTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50’ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticMay 2020Semi finals, second leg – May 5/6Final, Istanbul – May 30 26 teams given direct entry to the group stage will be joined by the six winners of the play-off ties.The teams will then be split into four seeding pots.Pot 1 consists of the holders, Europa League winners and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations. Pots 2 to 4 are determined by the club coefficient rankings.No team can play a club from their own association, with the exact draw procedure to be confirmed before the ceremony.The draw also establishes the groups for the UEFA Champions League path of the UEFA Youth League.4 Liverpool fans saw Klopp lift the Champions League Trophy in MadridCredit: Getty Images – GettyChampions League 2019/20 scheduleAugust 2019Play off round, first leg – August 20/21Play off round, second leg – August 27/28Group stage draw, Monaco – August 29September 2019Group stage, matchday one – September 17/18October 2019Group stage, matchday two – October 1/2Group stage, matchday three – October 22/23November 2019Group stage, matchday four – November 5/6Group stage, matchday five – November 26/27center_img Everything but pot one is official because there is still another round of qualifying play-off games to go.For Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City in pot one, their Group of Death would see them come up against Real Madrid, Inter Milan and RB Leipzig.Madrid have already spent big this summer, landing Eden Hazard for £150million.But they could add Neymar too, as they are trying to tie up a last-minute deal for the Brazil superstar.A best case scenario would see the English teams in pot one drawn in a group that includes Shakhtar Donetsk from pot two, Club Brugge from pot three and Genk from the final pot of teams.The draw will take place on Thursday, August 29, in the lavish surroundings of Monaco and will likely get started at 5pm UK time.You can watch all of the groups take shape on BT Sport.If you’re a BT customer, download the BT Sport app to watch wherever you are.Uefa will provide a free live stream on their official website.How does the draw work?last_img read more

Things were worse under Redknapp than Real this summer, claims Bale

first_imgGARETH BALE has revealed being benched by Harry Redknapp for a year was worse than his last 12 months at Real Madrid.Tottenham bizarrely failed to win any of the first 24 Premier League games he was involved in and he was benched for the better part of a year at White Hart Lane during an injury-hit start.4 Gareth Bale has revealed the last 12 months were not as bad as his difficult year under Harry RedknappCredit: Alamy Live News4 Bale had a difficult start to life at Spurs and was not on the winning side for his first 24 Premier League gamesCredit: PA:Press AssociationThe Welshman, 30, is back with his national team and has spoken for the first time about his difficulties at Madrid.Real tried to sell the former world record player to Jiangsu Suning over the summer, but the move collapsed after it was aborted by the Spanish giants.The nightmare was made worse by the fact that he was expected to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the Bernabeu, but instead scored just eight La Liga goals last season under Zinedine Zidane.He said: “It’s not been great but it’s not been the worst.”I remember not playing for a year under Harry Redknapp!”It’s not been ideal but I’ve been there before and I know how to deal with it. It’s just about keeping your head down and working hard.”I keep grinding through everything and had a good pre-season in terms of training and I’ve started the season well.”I feel good. I feel stronger than ever at the moment. When you get older you learn from your mistakes in the past and do a bit more prevention work in the gym.”I feel in very good shape so hopefully I can stay on top of that and continue to play well.”LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict England, Wales and Scotland vs Belgium scores this weekend and win £100Bale is back in the goals again and back in favour among the notoriously fickle Madridistas.His brace at Villarreal helped his side to a point, where they have made an OK start with a win and two draws.But he says he drowned out all the noise throughout the summer over his future.He added: “I don’t listen because they don’t know what they’re on about! I don’t read anything. Most people don’t know the situation. MOST READ IN FOOTBALLTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for himREF RAIDChampions League ref Vincic ‘arrested in raid into drugs and prostitution ring’STIR IT UPBohemians post cryptic response to FIFA promoting a jersey with Bob Marley on it”It didn’t impact me too much, I had a great summer holidays.”I kept my head down in pre-season and there was a lot of talk, good and bad, but I just kept working hard in training.”Things that happened will stay private at the club but if you want answers maybe you need to ask Real Madrid.”4 Bale’s career looks to be back on track at Madrid after he netted two against VillarrealCredit: Rex Features4last_img read more

How Spurs could line up under Mourinho with new signings joining Kane and Co

first_imgMauricio Pochettino jokes: If Levy sacked me, I could never manage Arsenal! JOSE MOURINHO has been handed the reins at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.The 56-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United last December – but after Tottenham sacked Mauricio Pochettino, the Portuguese was swiftly snatched up to take over in North London.5 How Tottenham could line up after a shake up from the Special OneSpurs have struggled this season, suffering humiliating results against Colchester and Bayern Munich, as well as a dire 3-0 defeat at Brighton.We take a look at how the Lilywhites could line up under the Special One.HUGO LLORISThe French skipper has struggled for form in the last year or two – but at his best remains a remarkable shot stopper.While Spurs should have one eye on a long-term replacement for the 32-year-old who is reportedly interested in a move to MLS, Mourinho could value his leadership and experience in the short term.Lloris is currently out injured with a dislocated elbow, but should return in the new year.5 Youcef Atal won the Africa Cup of Nations in the summerCredit: AFP or licensorsYOUCEF ATALThe flying 23-year-old full-back could help launch Spurs into a new era.The Algerian lit up the Africa Cup of Nations with his skill and trickery on the right flank, and could finally be the man to fill the gaping hole left by the departure of Kyle Walker in 2017.The Nice defender would likely cost as much as £35million – with Chelsea also rumoured to be keen.Atal even chipped in with six goals from defence in Ligue 1 last season – and would offer Spurs a badly needed top class option at right-back.DAVINSON SANCHEZThe imposing Colombian defender impressed in his first season at Spurs after his megabucks move from Ajax in 2017.But the 23-year-old found himself in and out of the team last season and struggled for form as a result.Sanchez has often looked more physically dominant over his opponents when playing for his national team rather than at Spurs – where strikers like Salomon Rondon and Aleksandar Mitrovic have had joy against him.Mourinho could be the man to get Sanchez consistently performing for Tottenham as he does for his country. If so, Tottenham will have a special young defender on their hands.JUAN FOYTHJose Mourinho has never been known as a manager that will teach his players specific patterns when playing out from the back.Fortunately, however, in Juan Foyth he would possess a 21-year-old defender so adept with the ball at his feet that it might not matter.Already a full Argentina international, Foyth should develop into one of the league’s finest defenders – particularly if Mourinho can teach him a little more discipline.Jose Mourinho gives first interview as head coach at Tottenham 5 Ryan Sessegnon is yet to make his Spurs debutCredit: Getty – ContributorRYAN SESSEGNONSpurs fans are still awaiting their first glimpse of their new £30million summer signing from Fulham in a Tottenham shirt.But supporters believe that he will be worth the wait.While the 19-year-old scored 15 goals as a winger as Fulham won promotion in 2017-18, he initially made his name as a left-backAnd the ability and intelligence to learn and adapt to different positions at such a young age could be an asset that Mourinho would greatly admire in Sessegnon.The ex Fulham man could prove to be a long-term solution for Spurs at left-back, with Danny Rose having struggled for form since a serious knee injury back in 2017.TANGUY NDOMBELETanguy Ndombele ended a signing drought of over 500 days when he arrived at Spurs in the summer, prompting excitement from fans up and down the country.And there have been encouraging early signs from the £60million man despite Tottenham’s dodgy form – with the 22-year-old having scored in wins over Aston Villa and Southampton.Mauricio Pochettino has struggled to cope with losing the influence of Mousa Dembele in the Spurs midfield – but perhaps Mourinho could mould Ndombele into that perfect blend of bruiser and ballet dancer that the Belgian was for Spurs.GIOVANI LO CELSOThere was incredible excitement from fans when Spurs secured the signing of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis over the summer.After just three substitute appearances, however, the Argentina international broke down with an injury on international duty.But the 23-year-old combines effortless skill with a bit of bite that Mourinho could nurture in the Tottenham midfield.The Special One had joy at Chelsea with a midfield partnership of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas, and Lo Celso alongside Ndombele could have the ability to boss games for Spurs.5 Paulo Dybala was heavily linked with Spurs in the summerCredit: Getty Images – GettyPAULO DYBALAAnother Argentine, Tottenham came so close to securing Dybala’s signature from Juventus, only to miss out on deadline day.The 25-year-old could be the blockbuster signing that would launch the club into a new, trophy winning era under Jose Mourinho.Possessing the nonchalant skill that has always been admired at White Hart Lane, Dybala would be an instant hit in N17.Spurs fans have seen the mercurial attacker first hand, when he combined with Gonzalo Higuain to knock Pochettino’s side out of the Champions League two seasons ago.BRUNO FERNANDESTottenham were reportedly ready to bring the Portugal international to North London in August if they had found a buyer for Christian Eriksen.Sadly for the Lilywhites, no such buyer came in and Fernandes, who scored 32 goals from midfield for Sporting Lisbon last season, remained in Portugal.The 25-year-old has gotten on with his business, however, and already has seven goals and five assists to his name this season.Much has been made of the sulking attitude of some of Spurs’ stars and £65million rated Fernandes could be the man to inject some extra life into the playmaker position at the club – with wantaway Christian Eriksen set to leave either in January or the summer.SON HEUNG-MINSince signing for Tottenham in 2015, Son’s influence has grown every season, with the South Korean superstar now regarded as one of the best players in the league.The 27-year-old has reached double figures for Premier League goals in the last three seasons, registering 14, 12 and 12.One of the most likeable and marketable players in the league, Son provides constant goal threat and trickery, whether deployed centrally or on the flanks.Mourinho would value Son’s combination of work rate and natural talent – as well as unwavering commitment to the cause.5 Harry Kane has shown for Spurs and England what a good leader he isCredit: PA:Press AssociationHARRY KANEHarry Kane would be Jose Mourinho’s captain.LATEST SPURS NEWSHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerYOU KAN DO ITKlinsmann quit Spurs to win trophies but says Kane’s better off stayingTURBULENT PAIRINGDrogba and Mido had mid-flight brawl after stewardess prank went wrongGossipSPURRED ONTottenham table contract offer for Bayern Munich’s teenage starlet Taylor BoothExclusivePASS THE TESTEngland’s NRL-based stars urge bosses to make room for a Test this yearThe 26-year-old is a leader on and off the pitch. He also happens to be Tottenham’s best player, combining elegant playmaking ability outside the box with lethal goalscoring inside the box.Mourinho brought the great Didier Drogba to the Premier League and would challenge Kane to provide those trophy winning moments that the Ivorian did.And Kane has the mental fortitude and character to accept that challenge and pass it with flying colours, if given the structure.last_img read more

Tottenham ready to open contract talks with Paulo Gazzaniga after impressive spell

first_imgTOTTENHAM HOTSPUR are reportedly set to reward Paulo Gazzaniga’s fine form with a new contract.Gazzaniga has made the most of his chance to impress in the wake of Hugo Lloris suffering a dislocated elbow in a 3-0 loss at Brighton in September.2 Paulo Gazzaniga is in the running to be long-term number one at SpursCredit: Getty – ContributorThe 27-year-old has been an ever-present since and, according to Football Insider, Spurs are keen to open talks to extend his current deal which runs until the summer of 2022.Lloris’ questionable form prior to picking up the injury at the Amex Stadium led many to question the French stopper’s place as permanent number one at Spurs.Some Spurs supporters believe Gazzaniga, who moved to the North London club from Southampton in 2017, now deserves the chance to be the club’s long-term starter between the sticks.With Lloris expected to be out until the turn of the year at least, Gazzaniga has ample time to continue staking his claim as Spurs No1.From the player’s perspective, any decision to sign a new deal could well depend on discussions with Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.Gazzaniga is keen to determine whether the Portuguese boss views him as his first choice before committing his future to Tottenham.The Argentina international has barely put a foot wrong in the 12 games he has started since Lloris, who is Spurs captain, suffered his injury.He can also call on some strong showings in previous outings in cup competitions during his time with the club when making his argument for a new deal.2Regardless of Gazzaniga’s form, dropping Lloris on a permanent basis would remain a big call for Mourinho to make.The 32-year-old has been a key member of Spurs’ side since joining the club in 2012 and was central to the club becoming regulars in the top four.He captained them during last season’s Champions League defeat against Liverpool and was a constant starter under former manager Mauricio Pochettino.While Gazzaniga scarcely got a look in in the Premier League under Pochettino, he may take confidence from Mourinho’s previous when it comes to dealing with goalkeepers.most read footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for himThe ex-Chelsea boss famously dropped Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas in favour of Diego Lopez during his time at the Bernabeu.Lopez’s arrival came in similar circumstances as Gazzaniga’s promotion to the starting XI after he was initially signed from Sevilla as cover for the injured Casillas.However, the Spanish World Cup winner never managed to regain his place under Mourinho, although a toxic relationship between the two was also said to be a contributor to him falling out of favour.Is Wolves vs Tottenham on TV? Live stream, channel, kick-off time and betting odds for Premier League clash at Molineuxlast_img read more

Crusaders back on top after demolishing Stormers

first_imgThe Crusaders ran in five tries in the opening 40 minutes, All Blacks skipper Kieran Read grabbing two, as they had the game won with a 36-3 lead at the break.The win leaves the Crusaders atop the New Zealand conference and the overall standings, the only unbeaten team after eight weeks.The Stormers, coming off a 29-16 loss last week to the Kings, sorely tested the Crusaders’ defence early, but could only come away with a Robert du Preez penalty.They also lost inside centre Dan du Plessis to a shoulder injury after 10 minutes, and the Crusaders pounced quickly when they finally established some field position.They built phases with patience, then Bridge hit Ryan Crotty’s offload at full speed, showing impressive strength and reach to score between the posts.Bridge bagged his second as the half-hour mark approached, the Crusaders clinical with smart recycling from an attacking lineout and the Stormers caught short out wide.Bridge’s third came four minutes later, set up in acres of space by a looping long pass from young centre Jack Goodhue.Read then did his bit with two tries in the last three minutes – the first out wide on the left, the second on the right.It took less than a minute from the restart for the Stormers to haul themselves back into the match, winger Cheslin Kolbe snaffling a rash Richie Mo’unga skip pass to cross untouched.A wicked fend left Mo’unga sprawling and set Bjorn Basson up for the Stormers’ second, as the Crusaders struggled to secure front-foot ball.The Crusaders hit back with two tries as the hour mark ticked over, Michael Alaalatoa burrowing over from close range then Pete Samu sprinting 80 metres for an intercept try.The Stormers replied through replacement prop Frans Malherbe, but Manasa Mataele gave the Crusaders the last say when he heard down the left touchline with two minutes remaining. Photo: Photosport Pete Samu of the Crusaders runs in for a try during the Super Rugby match, Crusaders V Stormers, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, 22nd April 2017.last_img read more